Brown girls and the inferiority complex: programmed to feel less than
An open letter for help
My inferiority complex. It is one of the hardest things I have ever had to admit. By definition an inferiority complex is the lack of self-worth, a doubt and uncertainty about oneself, and feelings of not measuring up to standards. It is often subconscious, and is thought to drive afflicted individuals to overcompensate, resulting either in spectacular achievement or extremely asocial behavior. & who wants to admit to that?
You've got to really dig deep to even acknowledge that it exists because we've been programmed to normalize this sense of inferiority. When I say programmed I mean the countless names we were called in our youth by our parents, grandparents, other family, lovers, and sometimes friends. By the normalization of physical abuse, verbal abuse, and addictions. By the normalization of white being pretty and brown being less than.
I am less than the white man yes that has blatantly been throw in my face but what is not spoken on are the subliminals that remind me that I am less than the white woman too. I am less than the kids who came from two parent homes, no struggles, and a regular childhood. I am less than the kids who could afford the nice shoes, less than the person who can easily make all A’s. & if I ever doubt my position I need only to look to social media to be reminded, to click thru the channels to Fox13, to shift thru the bias newspapers and other social media outlets.
I’m a brown girl, I’m a traumatized child that in turn had to start raising a child. I am the first of any to complete many accomplishments yet rather than feeling pride I feel shame. Shame when I am in a room full of no one that looks like me. Rather than feeling security I feel anxiety anytime I do something wrong. My first instinct is not how to correct my actions but rather “I’m going to get fired”, “they don’t need me”, "you dumb B*Xtch"... yes, I've called myself that plenty of times in my head.
I am a 26 year old wombman, I have created life, I have overcome adversity, I add color in a room where there is so much white, I am respected by my employees, admired by my peers yet inside internally I suffer. I am inadequate in my own eyes, I have finally admitted this. I know everyone says that the hardest part is admitting it, everything works itself out after that.
I think that's bullshit. Admitting it forces me to look at an issue that still hurts. I am my own solution, yet no matter how many "you are beautiful's" I tell myself in the mirror, tucked away in a corner of my soul is this ever lasting reminder.
This post isn't a solution to this complex it is an admittance. I, owner of Beaut&Beast, mother of a wonderful star child, graduate of a Masters degree program, manager for a health corporation, 700+ club credit score, medium income household baring woman, have an inferiority complex. I feel uncomfortable talking to men with degrees because I had a child out of wedlock and feel like my degree is less valuable. I feel intimidated when around white men who have less experience than me because I have consistently seen them surpass me. I don't feel beautiful in a dress with my stretch marks, fat, and cellulite because Instagram reminds me there are real deal flawless women out there. I've never fully revealed myself to my lovers because I feel that they will judge me. I have yet to tap into my sexuality because as a child I was forced to act sexually now I correlate pleasure with shame. But what really fucks me up... I feel like I robbed my son from the perfect mom because I had him so young. Too young to know the importance of education when his mind was so open to being educated. Too young to provide him stability and a back yard. Too young to provide him a complete family, to young to show him from the beginning how much he was loved.
For those of you who have admitted and overcome feeling less than, can you help me?
a Wombman that is tired of feeling less than